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Crystal Neri | Mount Jacinto State Park in Palms Springs, California - Crystal Neri
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Mount Jacinto State Park in Palms Springs, California

My mom and I set up a hiking date in Palm Springs. She’s never done it, but in the spirit of being game with me, she is going to try for the first time. We left San Diego at 8 AM and arrived in Palm Springs two hours later. As we fell in line for the Aerial Tramway (ticket cost $23/person), I discovered that it’s the biggest of its kind in the world. It can fit 80 people and reaches to a staggering 8,000 feet on air.

If we fell off on this 10-minute ride, sure nobody’s to survive. 



We got off at a large cabin, the main tourist center called “Mountain Station.” They have the Pines restaurant, a couple tourist shops and several picnic areas. What bogged me is that after traveling 8,000 feet, there’s actually a state park right behind it!


My mom and I before the hike. 

I decided to take on the Wellman’s Divide. As described by Hiking in Palm Springs:

Wellmans Divide: From Round Valley to Wellmans Divide is a 1-mile hike (2 miles round trip from Round Valley, and 6.77 miles round trip from the tram station) with a 600 feet elevation gain which will bring you up to 9,700 feet. 

In being that high up the ground, no question that you’ll get spectacular views like these:

Snow-capped mountains with dry, brown valleys behind. Nature is perfect.


Hiking became one of my most favorite things because when you’re in the wilderness, you have to be self reliant and in tune with nature. No makeup, no phones – just your natural self with fellow human beings trying to survive. You can’t even stop to complain about fatigue or heat! 


My mom and I hiked for five hours, which was of course worth it because of her company and the rewarding views. She was so tired, but now I can see where I get my will of steel. We ate Paleo chicken lettuce wraps, banana pecan pancakes, coconut macaroons, an avocado, boiled eggs, granola — a lot of things to keep us going.


At the end of day, I’m so thankful that my mom takes me to these little “dates.” Every moment that I spend with her is like catching up on the last four years I was away in college. Now that I’m older, I can relate to her more and treat her like an equal. Also, I’m so excited about how Paleo has sustained my body. The fact that I can take 600-feet elevation hikes without pain is a testament to all that nutrition and body work. 


I passed out in my San Diego bed so happy. What about you guys, when was the last time you reconnected with nature?